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Relationship Between Plot Structure And Character Development

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1830 words Published: 1st May 2017

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As character development is an essential part in novels, it turns out to be interesting to discuss the essence of the topic. The essay mentions about how the characters develop at different stages in the two novels, ‘The House of the Spirits’ and ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ and how does this help subsequently, in the development of their plot structure. A good link with respect to the attitudes and the behavioral characteristics can be seen where the development of characters is concerned. A similar connection can be noticed in the way that each novel advances as a result of the progress in terms of their character development.

Character development and plot structure play a significant role in different works as the writers use them to make their works interesting. Let’s have a glance upon what the writers want to portray through their own designed work.

1″You can’t find someone who doesn’t want to be found.” says Isabel Allende for her masterpiece, ‘The House of the Spirits’. This indicates that a reader cannot find a character which the author does not want to show, as the power to develop the plot with the help of the characters lies with the author alone. The ‘someone’ mentioned in the quote reflects to a particular extent to the character itself. Gabriel García Márquez’s view upon his work ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ is [2] “The world must be all fucked up when men travel first class and literature goes as freight.” By giving this view, the author expresses his view that all people should respect the literary work ardently. It is very important to understand that the work will be respected only if the plot is well developed and this in turn is organized with the help of characters and their development in the work at every step. The opinions of the authors reflect the mind of a curious reader who is passionate about the work.

The novels on which the following essay is based were written in different parts of the world in different eras and also by different authors but, they can still be associated with each other where particular aspects like characters and plot is concerned. This signifies a strong bond in relation to the individual works.

The Supernatural element plays an important role in developing the characters, thereby supporting the structure of the plot. Clara uses her supernatural powers predicting the future of the characters. This in turn magnifies the events and circumstances take place as per the wishes of the author. The progression of the plot is also based on how the characters are made to react to a particular situation. Rosa’s death which was foretold by Clara, creates a setting, which crafts out the marriage of Esteban with Clara. On the other hand, Jose Buendia is portrayed initially as possessing the autonomous power of prophecy. But the events foretold by Melquiades prove to overpower the foresight of the character, revolutionizing the mode of the progress of the novel. Jose and Ursula are disheartened with the foresight of the birth of a child with a pigtail. This clouds the buoyant temperament of the novel which is believed to be one of the causes of its humungous success.

Authors tend to use character building with the aid of a particular aspect running throughout the novel. This development of the character in the progressive chapters further ministers the maturity of the plot, bringing about an outstanding piece of work.

Prostitution is blended beautifully along with the different factors in the novels by both Allende and Marquez. Transito Soto, who was projected as a non entity and an object of pleasure, turns out to be the sole aid for Esteban Trueba towards liberating his daughter. [3] “Illustrating the power of the sex industry, in only two days Tránsito does what Senator Trueba has been unable to do”. This quote simply reflects the help extended and the sacrifice made by Transito Soto towards Esteban. The events signifying child prostitution and incest in ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ facilitate the turnaround of the characters from one attribute to the other. Marquez possesses this distinctive feature of blending the solitary aspect with the natural. [4] “In our world of child abuse, prostitution, sexually transmitted diseases, rape etc…, we are able to see the strange sexual relationships depicted in this novel (let me know about this) as no more bizarre than what we see going on around us.” goes as accepted in the plot structure.

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The plots in their magnanimous journey also give birth to the events linked with depression and sadness. Such emotive settings help the reader take a plunge into the mood of the author. A poignant atmosphere with a touchy word from the writer creates a situation that takes the plot to a totally different angle, portraying the darker side of human life.

Isabel Allende allows Esteban Trueba to not only get addicted and obsessed but also to go in depression now and then. This addiction brings him to a situation, where he needs to turn to another person. This person comes in disguise of a character, developing the plot and laying the foundation for a long term stand. Transito Soto projected as a prostitute, comes to the author’s rescue here. Similarly in ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ there are instance of the characters delving into sad mood.(give an example of sadness and depression from 100 yrs here)

The writers have used autonomous situations in different contexts, as a support for the characters’ disposition and its direct effect on the structure of the novel.

Situations like autopsy of Rosa after her death in ‘The House of the Spirits’ and similar scene(which is that scene? Mention it. ) is created within the novel ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’. It can be learnt that the plots developed not at the discretion of the authors alone, but the era and the prevailing circumstances had a direct effect on the development of the characters and in turn, on the plot.

The authors allow the plot to create confusion in the reader’s mind, due to presence of many characters with similar names.

At times, it becomes difficult for the reader to identify the correct name associated with a particular situation when he/ she may read the novel. Unless the reader is totally transfixed, he/ she may not be able to smartly focus on the difference in the characters’ behavior and the roles they play.

It has major part in the novels ‘The House of the Spirits’ and ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ as there are many characters which are named same after their fathers and forefathers.(give examples of similar names from each text). The essence of giving a same name to the characters portrays the continuity in family and also supports the entire plot by eventually helping the character to develop in the readers mind.

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Authors also have the tendency to take an unusual event like the occurrence of natural calamity in the plot to disturb it and to formulate a change in the plot story. The mention of earthquakes as a natural calamity has been taken as a support to develop the plot of ‘The House of the Spirits’. It also has a great effect upon the existing characters in the plot. Moreover, Marquez, the author of ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ has also successfully shown plague and fight ?? which is again a part of the natural disaster and an unusual event.

Politics, as a favourite element of most of the authors, is succinctly used as a background of these novels too. Authors use politics as an important element to develop the characters of Jose and Esteban.(give examples of politics).

The events associated with Mocondo and Tres Marias are portrayed in the light of imagery. Readers may tend to note, that these symbols although metaphorically used by the authors are also used as a solid ground to highlight the basic building blocks for the development of the characters and the plot. The writers also put forth their best by mentioning the house as the world itself. The plot of ‘The House of the Spirits’ revolves around Tres Marias and the plot of ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’, around Macondo. From this one can decipher that the reader tends to get engrossed only in the mentioned town or city and the world around them is least taken into consideration.

The author Sheree Rehema’s view point upon character development states that, [5] “As authors, it is our duty to create lovable, enticing characters and do horrible, evil things to them”. This quote helps us understand that the writers use their characters to develop the plot structures.

Incest, as an intriguing element, fascinates the readers to such an extent, that a suggestion for an epilogue comes to the fore. (gv examples of incest)

A shift in the attitude of the characters marks a turning point in a novel. A major transformation can be noticed in Marquez’ ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ when Arcadio turns out to be cruel later on after being sluggish initially. Incidentally, Esteban’s attitude can also be seen bringing about a transformational shift in his own values and principles. This further helps develop the plot, helping the authors bring about a revolutionary change in the reader’s perspective.

The connections in the two literary texts can be positively conveyed as the readers get a clear idea of the presence of the links in the relationship between the plot structure and character development in the two novels, ‘The House of the Spirits’ and ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’. The inclusion of different elements like depression and sadness, prostitution and incest, the metaphorical and the supernatural elements, the autonomous and the complex, politics and attitudes etc, form a solid base for these writers to develop the plots with the characters around. The efforts of Isabel Allende and Gabriel García Márquez have shown a positive impact upon the readers, as the rationale that brings about the essence of a constant progress not only in the works mentioned above, but also in their entire literary careers.



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